Deadshirt Is Watching…is a weekly feature in which Deadshirt staff, contributors, and guests sound off on the television shows we’re tuned into, from intense dramas to clever sitcoms to the most insane reality shows. This week: Supergirl and You’re the Worst!
Guest contributor Andrew Niemann is Watching…
Season 1, Episode 7: “Human for a Day”
Mondays at 8:00 PM on CBS
TV’s non-CW DC superhero show hits its stride and knocks it out of the park in this episode. After using all of her might against the rogue military robot Red Tornado last episode, Kara finds herself sapped of all her strength temporarily. Poor timing, since an earthquake has just hit National City. Kara pulls through, however, and helps rescue citizens with the help of her good friends James “Jimmy” Olson, Winslow “Winn” Schott, and her boss Cat “Co” Grant. This episode is pretty fantastic because it shows just how perfect Melissa Benoist is as the title character. Throughout the episode, she shows a wide range of emotion—from frustration that she can’t use her powers to save a dying man, to bravery in the face of mortal danger as she stands up to a group of armed looters in her non-bulletproof state. The show also continues to critique its detractors head-on in its portrayal of Maxwell Lord, a Lex Luthor type who looks down on Supergirl for not being as good as her cousin.
But what also really shines in this episode is its exploration of the ensemble cast. James Olson gets in on the heroics (even taking his shirt off to show his massive pecs!) by climbing up an elevator shaft to save some stranded employees. Cat Grant continues to be sublime in her every scene, much in part to Flockhart’s uncanny superpower to chew scenery and make mountains out of throwaway lines. Even though Winn has a few great moments in this episode, he mostly serves as comic relief and sorta nastily shames Kara for having a crush on James, which is a bummer.
Episode Highlight: For my money, the episode highlight is a depowered Supergirl standing up against armed criminals, but the biggest geek-out moment goes to the subplot. The DEO arc has been probably the show’s weakest thus far, and seems merely to serve as a place to introduce alien baddies for Kara to fight. This episode completely turns that sentiment on its head through an appearance from Jemm, Son of Saturn. Kara’s sister Alex Danvers is trapped in the DEO with the telepathic alien, (highlight for SPOILER) and is eventually saved by her boss Hank Henshaw, who (in a classic Greg Berlanti swerve) reveals himself to actually be Martian Manhunter. It’s a very cool reveal and, although I’m sure we won’t see the him every week, it opens up the possibility for even more A-list superhero appearances in the future of the series.
Joe Stando is watching…
You’re the Worst
Season 2, Episode 13: “The Heart Is a Dumb Dumb”
Wednesdays at 10:00 PM on FXX
I keep thinking I’ll run out of things to say about You’re the Worst, but the second season just wrapped up and I’m still singing its praises. The finale is everything I’d want from the show: it’s funny, mean but deceptively sweet, and highlighted a lot of the cast nicely. Now that Gretchen has seemingly had a breakthrough in how she handles her depression, the show has shifted back into more overtly comic territory, with Jimmy’s “levels of drunkenness” and the typical shitshow that any event thrown by Becca and Vernon devolves into. At the end of the day, You’re the Worst is still a romantic comedy, and unsurprisingly ended with a cute affirmation between the main couple. The difference is that this show, and this season specifically, used the interim to take a pretty unflinching look at both depression and the difficulty and fallibility of people trying to care for one another. It’s dark stuff, but it worked, and I can’t wait to see what next year has in store.
Episode Highlight: I wanna start out by saying that Aya Cash’s performance this season has been one for the ages, firmly cementing her as one of the best, most talented actresses on television. It’s still nice, though, that this episode gave her a chance to start smiling and being funny again, as her charisma was the first thing that drew me into the show. You’re the Worst excels at balancing cartoonish odiousness with powerful vulnerability and emotional realism, and this episode had both in spades. Becca and Vernon’s “how much money did you lose?” “…SO much.” was a funny, grounding moment for two of the show’s sillier characters, and Jimmy’s slurred, blackout drunk explanation that it’s “his turn” to be taken care of by Gretchen was much more endearing than I expected. Four out of every five characters on the show may be self-destructive messes, but there’s a huge amount of heart and decency hiding just beneath the surface.